As If: Idealization and Ideals

Ebook Details


Kwame Anthony Appiah

Year 2017
Pages 240
Publisher Harvard University Press
Language en
ISBN 9780674975002
File Size 1.22 MB
File Format PDF
Download Counter 103
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Ebook Description

Idealization is a fundamental feature of human thought. We build simplified models in our scientific research and utopias in our political imaginations. Concepts like belief, desire, reason, and justice are bound up with idealizations and ideals. Life is a constant adjustment between the models we make and the realities we encounter. In idealizing, we proceed “as if” our representations were true, while knowing they are not. This is not a dangerous or distracting occupation, Kwame Anthony Appiah shows. Our best chance of understanding nature, society, and ourselves is to open our minds to a plurality of imperfect depictions that together allow us to manage and interpret our world.